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FSU basketball excited about new and improved Donald Tucker Center

Do you remember that thing, the thing that used to host basketball games; the one with the multicolored seats covered in fabric that predated 'Big Jake?' What's 'Big Jake,' you ask? A movie, an old one from 1971 -- starred John Wayne, a guy who started making movies in the 30s -- my grandfather's favorite actor. I still remember sitting down with my grandfather and watching those John Wayne movies, ones like 'Big Jake,' and the feeling like we were shot back in time, my grandfather sucked into the nostalgic feelings those movies must have brought him. Well, I never felt that way about that place, the Donald Tucker Center, and its outdated interior and whatnot. It never drew me in, wanting more. It never pleased the eyes, although I've witnessed miracles beyond explanation in the form of FSU wins that I will personally never forget. It never made me want more of the past, but rather, more of what lies ahead. Luckily, today, after touring the ongoing renovations, it looks like what lies ahead is only right in front of us. Less than a month away.

Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State basketball team opened up its first official practice of the 2014-2015 season Wednesday afternoon inside the practice facility.

And just a stone's throw away, renovations inside the Donald Tucker Center continued to press on with the season quickly approaching. With the first exhibition game against Embry Riddle just 26 days away, the Tuck will have to be game ready -- something that is now within reach. But it's more than just being game ready, it's an exciting time for members of the basketball program, watching the old school civic center get a face lift..

"Now that you actually own [the Civic Center], you feel a little more comfortable investing money into it," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Just the seats alone and the scoreboard gives it a fresher look. Obviously with us having to play, you can't do everything at one time, but they plan to phase things in, and hopefully in a short period of time we'll have us a brand new renovated facility."

The plans won't stop with what can be seen by adoring fans come basketball season, there are also plans to renovate the lockers rooms, along with other things.

But for now, inside a building that was once filled with seats that could have been covered in puke and gone unnoticed, the face lift has brought a much needed improvement. The lighting is better -- not from replacing the lights, but from simply cleaning the glass -- and the added ribbon boards and scoreboards will add light as well.

"Civic Center lookin' nice, they big time over there, huh?," FSU guard Aaron Thomas said with a huge smile, "They doing all of these good things for us, so I think it's time for us to go step up."

There are four new scoreboards -- one in each corner -- and four ribbon boards as well, also in the corners.

The video board in the center is also brand spanking new, a much needed upgrade, as the previous video board has been on its last leg for years, malfunctioning from time to time.

The seats are wide, comfortable, garnet and completely leather, with each pillow of the gods coming with its own cup holder. This is crucial for anybody who has drank a delicious beverage at the Tuck in recent years, cradling your beer between your knees or at your feet. Welcome to luxury, my friends.

As renovations come to a close, I'll bring you further updates. But for now, I have to say it looks a whole lot better than it did this time last year.